An Apology to Our Community

From Glenn Omatsu, co-chair of the conference planning committee

We apologize for a serious error we made during our conference planning: the use of two un-credited photos in our publicity.  This error is my responsibility due to my role as the representative from Asian American Studies in our committee.  The founding mission of Asian American Studies criticized existing academic practices of exploiting community resources.  Asian American Studies sought to change this relationship, and it became the responsibility of those who teach classes in the field to uphold this responsibility.  I failed to do so.

On the publicity flyer for our conference were two photos that we did not seek permission to use and were not credited. One photo was from photographer Nikki Arai, and the other was from the Asian Law Caucus.

We apologize for not asking for permission to use these materials and not crediting them.  We will personally contact the people involved to express our apologies.

The issue goes beyond one of copyright and focuses on larger community concerns.  In the past, many photographers, graphic artists, and other artists did not copyright their work and were eager to share their work to help community struggles but appreciated it if people contacted them for use of their work.  We need to continue this tradition of acknowledging and appreciating their work — even at this late date.

In the history of activism in our community, the contributions of photographers, graphic artists and other artists have played a central role in educating people, mobilizing the community, and expressing people’s voices.  This is a legacy that we want to honor.

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